Goalkeepers 'spaghetti legs' gives edge in saving penalties

Posted By: Staff

London, Jun 8 (ANI): Scientist have found the best way to save penalties is goalkeeping legend Bruce Grobbelaar's famous "spaghetti legs".

The former Liverpool goalkeeper's crazy antics were critical to his team's victory in the 1984 European Cup final against AS Roma, research suggests.

The findings show that Grobbelaar stole a march on scientists when he invented his wobblyknees tactic, The Sun reports.

The research, conducted at the University of Exeter last year, proved that if a kicker's eyes are drawn to the goalkeeper, he tends to shoot in that direction.

Scientists have asked England players in the event of a penalty shoot-out to ignore the goalkeeper, pick a spot in the goal where they want the ball to go and aim their kick accordingly, preferably without falling over.

Overcoming this tendency was significantly harder when penalty takers were under pressure, or in a "threat condition".

"The research shows that we focus on things in the environment that we find threatening. In penalty kicking the only thing that threatens success is the goalkeeper, so we monitor his movements. Our findings suggest we should try to ignore the goalkeeper," said Psychologist Greg Wood, who led the study. (ANI)

Story first published: Tuesday, June 8, 2010, 13:31 [IST]
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